Bintulu MP calls for flood mitigation masterplan study to be expedited after recent floods in Sibu

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING, Oct 22: The relevant authorities have been urged to expedite studies on the flood mitigation system masterplan in Sibu to solve the frequent flooding problem during the rainy season.

Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing said he was informed by residents in Sibu that continuous heavy rain two days ago have caused floods in low-lying areas such as Jalan Hua Khiew, Rejang Park, Jalan Tiong Hua, Lorong Belian, Lorong Merlin, Lorong Merdeka 18, Jalan Ling Kai Cheng, Jalan Oya, Jalan Pahlawan, etc.

“On behalf of the Sarawak government, I would like to apologise to the affected residents.

“I was made to understand that the total cost of overall exploration work of Sungai Rajang and Sungai Igan is around RM10 million, with a grant of about RM4 million to RM5 million for the initial cost of exploration work approved under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

“If there is a shortage of funds for the initial works, we will also seek to solicit funds from the Sarawak government,” he said in a statement today.

He explained that the measurement work and study of the riverbed is very important for the flood system throughout the city, especially to understand the level of siltation the riverbed has and to carry out proper planning and dredging work.

“Therefore, I hope that the authorities will start the inspection and initial works as soon as the relevant funds are obtained, as this is a task that concerns the people of Sibu and the daily lives of the people,” he added.

He took note of the local community’s grouses regarding the proposal to build a detention pond, which many deemed was not appropriate because of the risk that it may overflow if there is incessant rainfall for several days.

They are also of the view that building detention ponds would not solve the water problem because it is very important that the river’s capacity is sufficient to accommodate rainfall.

“I understand the local community’s views but although there is actually no perfect approach to deal with it from a longterm perspective, the most urgent thing to do now is to dig deeper and widen the riverbed and estuary with immediate attention to some river bends which have shown serious sedimentation conditions.

“Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to ask the municipalities, local councils and the Department of Irrigation and Drainage to actively discuss the best way at this time, including doing a study on the master plan of the flood system in Sibu,” he said. — DayakDaily